5 Offseason Acquisitions the Kansas City Chiefs Must Make to Contend in 2013
“It can always get worse,” said former Royals manager Buddy Bell.
Kansas City Chiefs fans have learned this lesson all too well during the 2012 Chiefs season. Fans might have hoped an emotion win over the Panthers would spur the team to be competitive the rest of the year. Instead, the team lost 30-7 to the Cleveland Browns—the first game the Browns had won by more than 10 points since November 7th, 2010.
Due to abysmal form of the team this year, fans have been forced to look to the offseason for hope. Luckily for the Chiefs, if they can re-sign Branden Albert and bring Dwayne Bowe back—either on the franchise tag or with a new contract—they could turn themselves into AFC West contenders before next season with five savvy offseason acquisitions.
1. Manti Te'o
The linebacker out of Notre Dame and Heisman runner up is the definition of an impact pick. Te'o has overcome adversity—losing both his girlfriend and grandmother to leukemia in a span of three weeks during the season—and oversaw Notre Dame’s turnaround from fringe bowl team to national title team.
Through all of this he has showed great leadership and continued to be class act on and off the field. Manti Te'o is not just a good story though, he’s also one heck of a football player.
En route to leading Notre Dame to a national title game birth, Te'o has made 101 tackles and seven interceptions this season. Te'o is not just a stat sheet stuffer though—he combines good size (6’1, 241 pounds ) with good speed.
His speed will allow him to match up with NFL tight ends and many running backs, making him a true three-down linebacker at the next level. Despite having outstanding physical skills, it is Te'o’s motor that makes him so good. He never quits on a play, whether rushing the passer, or pursuing a quarterback.
His ability to do both makes him special. It also must be mentioned that linebackers normally don’t go in the top five of the draft, which could cause some to call this pick a reach.
The 2013 NFL Draft is lacking a top quarterback though, so it is better to draft an impact talent at a need position (due to the Jovan Belcher incident) than to reach for a mid-first round talent like Geno Smith. The Chiefs should try to trade down in the first round, but even if they can’t, Manti Te'o is their guy.
2. Mike Glennon
The North Carolina State quarterback is the best chance the Chiefs have at a franchise quarterback in this draft. Glennon possesses rare size (6’7, 232 pounds) and more importantly, a cannon arm. Of all the quarterbacks in this class, Glennon has the best chance to win a Super Bowl.
He brings all the physical tools to the table, and in today’s NFL a franchise quarterback must use those elite physical tools. The worry with Glennon is that he might move into the first round with good work outs. Mel Kiper has even said he could be the first quarterback taken come draft time.
Glennon is not without his flaws though. He has struggled with decision making—fourteen interceptions this year—and while he can read defenses, he often times displays too much confidence in his arm in making throws.
In the NFL there is a fine line between Jay Cutler and Jeff George, a line which Glennon sometimes pushes. He also has developed a bad habit—partially thanks to a sub-par offensive line—of throwing off his back foot when pressured.
His lack of mobility also doesn’t help his case. Still, the talent is there, and Glennon can be an elite quarterback if he develops it. Do not be surprised if Glennon shoots up draft boards after workouts, but for now he makes for an ideal second-round pick. The Chiefs may want to keep Brady Quinn around to start the year, but Glennon will likely force his way into the lineup sooner rather than later. The next projected free agent would be able to step in right away...
3. Aqib Talib
The former University of Kansas standout cornerback is a familiar name to most Chiefs fans. Talib is a tremendous talent at the cornerback position, and he has become the No. 1 corner for New England after his trade there.
Unfortunately, Talib’s off-the-field problems are the thing that got him traded in the first place. As good as he has been on the field, Talib has struggled off of it dating back to his college days.
These character concerns will likely scare a lot of teams off, but he is a chance for the Chiefs to get an impact corner at a bargain. It is a risk, but Kansas City could gain an impact, versatile corner opposite of Brandon Flowers if they are willing to roll the dice.
Bringing in an corner like Talib would allow Jalil Brown to move to nickel corner, and Javier Arenas to move off the field. That alone might be reason enough to make the move.
4. Delanie Walker
The versatile tight end from San Francisco often times gets lost in Vernon Davis’ shadow, but he could find his way into the spotlight in Kansas City.
The first thing that jumps out about Walker is his athleticism. It gives the 49ers the ability to play him at tight end, or even line him up in the backfield at times.
News only gets better from there—Walker is a crushing blocker out of the backfield and would provide a nice boost to Kansas City’s power running game.
He also provides a nice bit of speed and athleticism in the passing game despite not having eye-popping numbers for his career. Walker is a sleeper if given the chance, and his tight end/fullback versatility would be a great help in Kansas City. The final acquisition will likely have the greatest impact though…
5. Mike Wallace
The game-breaking Steelers wide receiver is a free agent this off-season and would be a great fit in Kansas City opposite of Dwayne Bowe. The two could provide a formidable duo and give the new Chiefs quarterback— hopefully Mike Glennon, fingers crossed—a couple of dangerous weapons.
Wallace would give the Chiefs the deep threat they desperately desire, and he would stretch the field for when teams try and stack the box to stop Jamaal Charles.
The idea of having two top-tier wide receivers may sound crazy, but the Chiefs are comfortably under the cap and have even more money coming in this offseason.
Wallace had produced two 1,000-yard seasons in a row before stumbling this year, and he would be a great fit for the team and possibly be the piece who makes the Kansas City Chiefs relevant again.